Foyle College travel to Belfast High School in the second round of the Danske Bank Schools Cup, this Saturday (KO 11am).
Coach David Barnett admits just like every year there’s a little bit of excitement in and around his squad at this stage of the competition.
“There is a bit of a buzz around the squad at the minute and they are all champing at the bit,” he said.
“Even as coaches myself and Ian Orr have been training the squad all season for this game.”
Barnett knows his side are going to be up against it when they make the trip to Belfast and the early morning start isn’t going to help his side, but a repeat of last year’s quarter-final win would do nicely.
“We haven’t played them this year, but we beat them in the quarter-finals of the Bowl competition at home.
“I think last year they came to us as favourites maybe were thinking they had already won the game before it was started. But in saying that it was a great performance from us we beat them.
“We have lost half of last year’s squad, though, and I’m sure they are the same, so it’s two different sides playing this weekend.
“We will be leaving at 8am for the 11am kick-off, but we have been pretty lucky the last few years at this stage with getting home draws. But we are away to Belfast High and I guess we have to play whoever is put in front of us.
“Look whatever 15 is put in front of you, we have to play them.”
The home side’s main threat is Sam McBride, the Ulster Schools’ U17 Prop and Barnett feels if his side, who have been training hard over the Christmas break, can control him then they have a great chance of winning on the road.
“All I know about them is that they have a big ball carrying number 8, who plays prop for Ulster Schools’, so I feel if we can contain him then I believe we have a strong enough team to beat them,” he added.
“All the players are definitely looking forward to the tie. They have been training once a week at the club and we had a good result against City of Derry on Boxing Day, so the boys haven’t been sitting about doing nothing for two weeks.
“At the minute training has been about trying to not pick up any injuries, especially to key players. We are waiting on a few players coming back from injury and we’ll wait and see how they are later in the week.”